Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beautiful Transformation in the Neighborhood?

Insert sarcasm here.

Your landscapers showing up at eight o’clock in the morning with their leaf blower right outside my window is super inspiring.

Ugh. Its times like this that I usually turn on music or the television but at eight in the morning I just refuse to interrupt my own desire for silence. The sound outside is making its way into my house and all the way down to my nerves, this is true, but I’m not the one who was in charge of that noise. Eventually I know it will go away and I can go back to my little Zen space where the only noise I hear is me cutting and pinning a bunch of fabric.

Most days I don’t turn on music. I got out of the habit last year when I did NaNoWriMo because when I listened and wrote simultaneously the emotion in each song started coming through in the narrative and dialog and my characters started sounding completely schizo. Obviously not a desirable outcome in a 230 page book, unless one of my characters happened to be a schizophrenic. But they weren’t. So I turned off the iTunes and opted instead for crime dramas (which now I’m so hopelessly addicted to I should be writing mysteries or cop books…but I digress…)

So most days I revel in the silence of the morning, and sometimes part of the afternoon, until I either start stitching on the machine or clicking the keys to write. Either way, I wouldn’t be doing those things right outside my neighbor’s window at eight o’clock in the morning because, hello, not everyone is on the same schedule as me. Is common courtesy of waiting until a decent hour (say, nine or later when people are typically up and at work) asking for too much in the city? Perhaps, I think with a sigh, but that doesn’t mean I have to be one of those people who are blind to everyone else.

After they turned the blower off all I could think about was the whirring sound of the motor and wondered how much gas/electricity it was burning with every spin of the blade. It made me wonder if they give a crap about the planet at all. Maybe they really do but they have to do that kind of work to survive; no matter what they have to do they will go out there and do it in order to feed their family.

Compromised values in the name of food on the table and mortgages paid? The stark reality of today’s society.

But that is just too deep for such an early start to the day…seriously, shake it off! I know life isn’t light and roses and rainbows shooting out one’s ass at all moments but I can’t bring myself down with thoughts so depressing so early or I’ll end up getting nothing done today while I lament the pains of the world.


Let’s talk about the ways I love the planet. I’m using up the last of a whole slew of fabrics to make all kinds of stuff for the craft fair, but you already know that if you’ve spent any time over here in the past couple weeks.

Want to hear something new? Well okay…a few months ago I got turned onto this gal’s blog, New Dress A Day, which is one woman’s journey to spend no more than $1 per day on a dress or similar thrift shop item that she then transforms into something modern and wearable.

Think 2XL muumuu that she ends up wearing with boots and tights out to a bar that night. I know it probably seems impossible but she pulls it off and with only a minimum of instruments -- scissors, seam rippers and a sewing machine. Not to mention her vast imagination to take the ugly and shapeless and turn it into something amazing and one of a kind. Seriously inspiring stuff!

Because I’ve been inspired by her awesomeness I decided to give it a try. Now I didn’t spend any money on the first 2 items I plan to transform, they came from my grandmother’s old stash of stuff but we’ll see what I can do with them.

First is an animal print top in black and white with a thick, black, mock turtleneck collar, long sleeves, shoulder pads and belt loops (but no belt). I might go sleeveless with that one but no matter what, the shoulder pads will be g.o.n.e. by the end of its transformation.

The other is a top and skirt in a taupey tan made out of a T-shirt type knit. The top has a collar and long sleeves (and absolutely no shape at all) and the skirt has an elastic waistband. If worn like a skirt it would fall at just about my mid shin (the worst spot for me because it makes me look even shorter) so I’m planning to add halter straps or something to the neckline to keep it up and then use it as a sleeveless long shirt dress over tights.

That’s the plan right now anyway. But all that will have to wait until craft fair madness is behind me. Just 4 more days and I can stop making these:

And start selling them instead. Hey I’m going to need a bunch of room in the sewing closet for all of those inexpensive thrift shop finds I scour. Maybe extending the lifecycle of some truly awful clothes in my house will make up for the planet stomping that occurs outside of it. One can dare to dream.


Judi FitzPatrick said...

Maybe landscapers should go back to the old-fashioned rake - it would save them money from buying gasoline and expensive blowers and instead, but a couple more bucks into the employees pockets since the job would take a little longer. But those employees might be a little more fit due to the workout of raking.
Love all the new goodies, hope you make a "killing" at the fair.
Love, hugs, and peace, Mum

Girly Green Girl said...

I live in a condo building and the landscapers are out there once a week cutting grass, trimming hedges and blowing leaves. It's so loud and obnoxious! It's excessive... especially at 7 am on a Saturday morning.

Almost Precious said...

There's really a lot of good fabric in some of those thrift store dresses so it's a great idea to recycle rather that purchase new from our local fabric stores.
Had to chuckle regarding the shapelessness of some of your grandmother's old clothes. For some reason there was a period of time where the fashion industry insisted that women were shaped like flat paper-dolls or rectangular cereal boxes. There were no darts, tucks, pleats or shaping of any kind. I have a whole section in my closet of these shapeless, unflattering garments ... keep thinking I'll one day add some darts, etc to give them some shape. At times you have to wonder what goes through those fashion gurus brains.
The pillow is great, would make lovely accents on a sofa, chair or bed. Bet they sell fast. :)

Maine-y-ac said...

Love the pillow. The colors work so well together!

And I agree about the landscapers, my neighbor has them come on Saturday morning and they usually arrive around 7:30a. Why can't they either wait until a bit later or use quieter equipment like a push mower? Ah, but that would mean they wouldn't be able to service as many customers in one day as they'd like!

Bridgete said...

I still need to give you those old jeans! lol. They're not in the way or anything, though, so I'll get them to you eventually. ;)

Rosebud Collection said...

YOu know, George won't cut the grass before nine..Not that our neighbors are that close, but he just feels it wouldn't be right..sound does travel..I know I didn't have to say that with a leaf blower below your window..
Sounds like you are having a good time with the revamping of clothes..That pillow is adorable and I hope you break the bank at the craft fair..They are a lot of work..just the setting up and all.
We have been lucky Jenn, a little warm weather and I am happy..Like you, it is raining here..better than snow..but we both know that..
Have a great week..sending you all good thoughts..xoxoRosebud/Carolyn

you were right the first picture was with some foggy mist..

#1Nana said...

I'm visiting my grandchildren who live in the suburbs of Austin, Texas. The houses are very close together. Quite a change for someone who is used to open spaces in rural, Oregon. I was awakened throughout the night, not by mowers and blowers, but by wind chimes. I kept thinking that I heard church bells...all night long! One person's music is another's noise!

I'm going to try NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. You're going to rework ugly fashion AND write a novel in 30 days? Good luck!

ginger said...

kate uses an old fashioned push mower and a rake...i don't know anyone else who does that in colorado. sad, right? (i live in an apartment) and i've always thought that 10 am should be the time when a person should be allowed to enter into someone else's space via phone calls, sound pollution or door knocking...unless otherwise planned ahead. and 7 pm should be the cut off. why? because damn, i need some peace.

and this?:
"But that is just too deep for such an early start to the day…seriously, shake it off! I know life isn’t light and roses and rainbows shooting out one’s ass at all moments but I can’t bring myself down with thoughts so depressing so early or I’ll end up getting nothing done today while I lament the pains of the world."
..... is my life. see my problem? can't stop myself. whatever, this isn't about me. i just thought you ought to know that i'm sorry if i took my thoughts out of my brain and actually mailed them to you or something. :P

i love that pillow. you're so talented!!!

wv: yarner - are you taking up knitting?

draagonfly said...

Good luck at the craft fair! That pillow is awesome. :) I'm sure you'll sell out.

Noise definitely stinks that early in the a.m., but I'll take a leaf blower over my neighbor's screaming kids any day!